I don't know about you, but it seems like some of the funniest and wittiest sayings I have either heard in a bar or read from a bumper sticker while tailgating someone down main street. These saying are usually lightheartedly sarcastic comments about the opposite sex and also include the word "beer-goggles".
But the last two sayings I've come across haven't been like that at all and instead seem to speak towards the overall sense of hopelessness that seems to have slowly been tightening it's grip on our nation.
I need to throw in an aside right here and say that I do not frequent bars that often. I was trying to round up some grub for dinner the other night because we were just too tuckered out from our weekend "let's lay flooring in the attic so we can store our crap up there and finally fit the fishing boat in the garage" project. Our usual go-to teriyaki place was closed which left a Mexican restaurant and a sports tavern as the two remaining choices that were still close to home. Remembering that my husband had brought home some really tasty burgers and stuff from the tavern, I cast aside all our earlier efforts towards healthier eating and ventured in.
Written in neat block letters on the column that divided the bar in half was this saying:
"Due to recent cutbacks, the light at the end of the tunnel has been shut off"
But a bit sad, right? I mean, this is how some - actually probably a lot - of Americans really feel right now.
Then this morning on my way to work I saw this saying on a bumper sticker:
"It's called the 'American Dream' because you have to be asleep to believe it"
Again, clever but sad.
I started thinking about how, as a kid, the sentiment was quite the opposite. America was the big, fat cherry on top of the triple-decker ice cream cone of the world! Everyone wanted to be like us. America was lthe promised land where anything could happen if you just worked hard enough.
But things have changed a lot since I was kid. This good -ol country of ours has been taking a hammering for quite some time. Morale is in the toilet. Russia called us a "parasite" that lives off of other countries because we live beyond our means. China practically owns us because we are so indebted to them. We've been steadily falling behind in education for years. Our health care system is a hot mess. Oh, and let's not forget the War. And how about the Recession (that's still not over) that kicked our asses two ways to Sunday. That's been fun, hasn't it? The rising rate of childhood obesity has to say something and I'm sure it's nothing good. And the latest and greatest -Standard and Poor down-graded our credit rating - not because we are a credit risk per se, but 'because the squabbling in Washington is not indicative of a country with a Triple A' rating. Basically, our Government just isn't working very well.
Our cherry has popped.
And of course the stuff mentioned above is just the tip of the iceberg. I could go on but honestly I'm too tired. I'm tired of worrying and caring so much. I don't really know why I do, but for some reason I really do and now more than ever.
I'm guessing I care now because I have kids - which I know is a lame reason. But I think you know what I mean -kids open our eyes to more things then we care to think about like our own mortality or the drought in Africa. And once my eyes have been opened and I care about something, I just can't not do something about it. So the question that lies ahead for me is not the "when" but the "what".
Once I figure that out, maybe the light at the end of the tunnel will shine a little brighter for me.